The Hail Mary
Series: Waiting on the Sidelines, #3
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: January 18, 2019
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.
It can be cruel.
With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.
But there’s more than a game at stake now.
Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.
There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.
This is their hail Mary.
This is win or lose.
(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)
Back in 2015, I read Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long. I loved both of those books, and I thought Nolan and Reed had gotten a good, strong ending. I didn’t look back at them and wish for just one more book. Maybe I should have, though. I guess I’m going to be happy that I didn’t know how much I wanted or needed more to their story. I’m so happy Ginger Scott envisioned something more for Nolan and Reed because The Hail Mary was a book I didn’t know I desperately needed until I started reading it.
In The Hail Mary, Nolan and Reed are all grown up. They are the same lovable characters I originally met, just a lot older and more mature. Nolan and Reed are dealing with life as a married couple constantly separated in a multitude of ways by a professional sport. I really respected the way in which Ginger Scott tackled all of the components of Nolan and Reed’s lives on and off the football field. There was this rawness and honesty to their feelings and what they were going through. As married woman near their age, it was so easy to relate to some of the ideas that were in their heads.
Another thing I appreciated was the way Ginger Scott wrote this story. It’s in dual point of view so we get both Nolan and Reed’s thoughts and feelings. It also includes some great flashbacks to earlier days and times the reader has missed in the 15+ years that have passed. While the characters were in their late thirties, The Hail Mary still felt like reading a new adult romance. I have to point this out because I loved that. So many times characters this age end up feeling older than I would expect them to. I may be “old”, but I don’t feel “old”. I don’t like when my characters feel older than I feel. I also liked the angst and emotion infused throughout the book rivaled some of that Ginger Scott’s NA novels.
I really, truly loved every minute I spent reading The Hail Mary. Ginger Scott brought Nolan and Reed’s story full circle in a very lovely way. I loved being back in a world I didn’t realize I missed so much. I know other fans of this series will feel the same way.
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).
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